FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija — The Philippine Army has installed a new commander of its 703rd Infantry (Agila) Brigade based in Barangay Calaanan, Bongabon on Friday, August 20.
During the change-of-command rites, 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division commander Major General Alfredo B. Rosario Jr. formally swore- in Col. Joseph Norwin D. Pasamonte as the replacement of Brig. Gen. Andrew D. Costelo, the erstwhile Agila Brigade commander, who is reassigned as the new deputy commander of the Northern Luzon Command based in Tarlac City.
Pasamonte, erstwhile deputy commander, will serve as the 19th chief of the 703rd Agila Brigade.
Also gracing the turnover rites were Col. Pedro D. Soliba, Central Luzon police deputy regional director for operations, who represented Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3; director Brig. Gen. Valeriano T. De Leon and new Nueva Ecija top cop. Col. Rhoderick B. Campo.
A notable accomplishment by the brigade was the total dissolution of the New People’s Army’s Komiteng Larangang Gerilya Sierra Madre (KLG-SM).
Noteworthy also during Costelo’s stint was the mass surrender of hundreds of CTG supporters with the relentless implementation of the community support programs of various Army units in their respective areas of operations and the downfall of top-ranking KLG-SM officers following the intensification of focused military operations.
Del Rosario also credited the 703rd Brigade’s success in the dismantling of the said guerilla fronts in its active and effective engagement with local government units through its local chief executives.
“Malaking bahagi sa tagumpay na ito ang inyong effective engagement sa ating mga LGUs sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga LCEs. Working together with them truly brings about change and development in the communities to end the dissatisfaction and resolving the issues is the only way. We have acknowledged na hindi nagtatapos sa encounter sa bundok ang trabaho ng Army, malaking bahagi talaga ang tuloy-tuloy nating ugnayan sa ating mga partner stakeholders from the government agencies and units to other non-government and private sector partners or sa mukha ng EO70, the whole of nation approach,” Del Rosario explained.